Blazers Offseason Takeaways: Should Portland move on from Deandre Ayton?

With the buzz from the 2024 NBA Draft settling down, the Blazers' plans are becoming clearer.
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament   - National Championship
NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament - National Championship / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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Deni Avdija
Minnesota Timberwolves v Washington Wizards / Jess Rapfogel/GettyImages

2. Blazers poised for improvement next season despite rebuild

The Blazers are still clearly in rebuilding mode but are looking to build a more competitive roster. Their draft-day acquisitions of Clingan and Avdija point to the team's commitment to improving on defense. Deni, in particular, is a player who was highly coveted around the league due to his prowess as a two-way wing. He's not only a versatile defender but also a great connecting piece on the offensive side of the ball.

Avdija is coming off his best season yet, with career highs in practically every statistical category. Last season with the Wizards, Deni averaged 14.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 3.8 assists per game on 51/37/74 shooting splits.

Additionally, Avdija is on an incredibly team-friendly deal that decreases in annual value every year until 2028. The Blazers view Avdija as a significant part of their plans moving forward, and he should significantly help this team become more competitive in the future.

However, things don't always go as planned, so if the Blazers find themselves in a situation where they need to restart the rebuild, Deni should be able to get them a few assets in a trade, especially given his contract.

Winning in the loaded Western Conference is difficult. Still, the Blazers should improve on their 21 wins from last season with the additions of Clingan and Avdija to go along with internal improvements from their up-and-coming players.